The Planner's Guide to Natural Resource Conservation:

The Science of Land Development Beyond the Metropolitan Fringe

  • Adrian X. Esparza
  • Guy McPherson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. History and Fundamental Ecological Concepts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Guy McPherson
      Pages 27-37
    3. Joel R. Brown
      Pages 39-56
  3. Exurban Land Development, Habitat, and Wildlife

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 57-57
    2. Stephen DeStefano
      Pages 85-102
    3. R. William Mannan
      Pages 103-115
    4. William W. Shaw, Rachel McCaffrey, Robert J. Steidl
      Pages 117-131
  4. Water Resources, Wetlands, and Storm Water Management

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 157-157
    2. Kathleen A. Lohse, Adina M. Merenlender
      Pages 159-179
    3. Ann Audrey, Mark Briggs, Kendall Kroesen
      Pages 181-198
    4. Evan Canfield, Richard H. Hawkins
      Pages 199-213
  5. Science-Based Planning in Exurban Areas

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 215-215
    2. Robert J. Steidl, William W. Shaw, Paul Fromer
      Pages 217-233
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 255-258

About this book


Much of the country’s recent population growth is situated beyond the metropolitan fringe, where development consumes millions of acres of privately owned land. Exurbanization has become the dominant pattern of land development in America and there is no indication it will slow in the future. This development depletes agricultural and wildlands, and causes numerous environmental impacts ranging from the loss of biodiversity and wildland habitats to soil erosion, an increase in nonnative species, and the heightened threat to endangered species. Written for regional planners, planning commissions, local elected officials, environmental groups, and the public-at-large, The Planner’s Guide to Natural Resource Conservation provides readers from diverse, nonscientific backgrounds with a working knowledge of how and why exurbanization impacts environmental systems. Contributors include experts in rangeland ecology, restoration ecology, zoology, urban and regional planning, and conservation biology, who highlight the best practices to mitigate environmental problems or to avoid them altogether. Each chapter will leave readers with a firm grasp of relevant concepts and processes, an understanding of current research, and the know-how to apply science to land-use decisions.

Adrian X. Esparza is Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona (Ph.D. 1987, University of Illinois-Urbana). He taught previously in the School of Planning, College of Architecture at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on exurban land development in the southwest United States and urbanization in the United States-Mexico border region. He has published dozens of articles in the fields of urban and regional planning and regional science.

Guy McPherson is a Professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona (Ph.D. 1987, Texas Tech University). He also worked for the University of Georgia, Texas A & M University, University of California-Berkeley, and The Nature Conservancy. His research focuses on development and application of ecological knowledge. His scholarly efforts have produced dozens of journal articles and eight books.


biodiversity ecology ecosystem environment sustainability temperature urban development vegetation wetland

Editors and affiliations

  • Adrian X. Esparza
    • 1
  • Guy McPherson
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PlanningUniversity of ArizonaTucsonU.S.A.
  2. 2.School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonU.S.A.

Bibliographic information